Joanna Burgess


I came from my home county of Somerset to Devon in 1981 to read Geography at Plymouth Polytechnic. We were taken to various places on Dartmoor to do Field Work and I regularly caught the bus to Burrator on a Sunday to walk, explore and go letter-boxing. In the Easter of my last year at Plymouth, I walked with friends from Belstone to Ivybridge, bivvying rather than camping – guided by the beautiful coloured 1 inch to 1 mile Tourist map. Having chosen a career in Town Planning, I returned to Devon to work for the County Council in North Devon and then Plymouth City Council in 1990. I began exploring Dartmoor all over again from my home in Ivybridge. The Dartmoor 365 book, then volunteering with the Duke of Edinburgh Award and Ten Tors training, took me to some different parts of the moor. My Dartmoor 365 tally improved dramatically when I became a Senior Planning Officer for Dartmoor National Park Authority in 2003. I walked home from Lynton on the Two Moors Way in 2004 and have contributed on and off over the years to Dartmoor News Magazine. I am also a Voluntary Warden and following early retirement in 2019 I work on an occasional basis as an Information Advisor in the Visitor Centres. Away from Dartmoor I have been a Volunteer at the Eden Project since 2002, am a Director of the Gatliff Hebridean Hostels Trust and recently became a Member of the Devon Countryside Access Forum.